The JF Guest Author Spot
One of the first practical issues you encounter when marketing to international markets is how to structure the information on your website.
As the volume of your international communication grows, you will need to organize this effectively online.
How do you organize all of your country specific online communication? There are different ways to segment your content:
You need to separate different product or content needs for different countries. Once you do this, you will need an appropriate communication platform to fit both:
Good international marketing practices
Good Search Engine Optimization
Not so long ago, the only option for good country specific online marketing appeared through localized websites. Website Localization refers to creating a website registered in your foreign market.
Website Localization is still the best step if you company has a sales presence in other countries.
For smaller companies, this is often too big of a step to start with. You might not want the extra website management tasks involved with Website Localization.
If you are just starting to penetrate your international markets, you do have other good options for segmenting your international communication and getting good international web marketing.
Search engines, and Google in particular, are constantly improving your international marketing options. Google's Webmaster tools give you good international search engine optimization.
You can keep your foreign language content or your different country specific content on your main website.
This means you actually have three choices in separating your culture specific content on your website:
Many people start here. It is very easy to set up.
If you are just starting out and have minimal content for each country or different culture, you may want to use Sub Directories. This:
• Is very easy to set up
• Gives your business time to grow
If you have more than a couple of different countries, you should look at the next option: Sub Domains.
This is an easy method to separate and manage your country specific content.
If your website is on one topic aimed at different audiences, it makes sense to go for Sub Domains.
• This keeps all of your content on the same subject on one server.
• You can guide your country specific SEO with Google Webmasters tools to get visibility in foreign searches.
Your Content Is On The Same Subject:
The two options above are perfect if your content is on the same subject. Both Sub Directories and Sub Domains:
• Link everything to one domain name.
By keeping all of your content on the same subject on the same website, you will have:
• Better search engine results
• Easier website management
Companies with offline sales strategies in different countries should use the next option: a Top Level Domain website.
Website Localization With Top Level Domains
This is an example of a Top Level Domain or TLD:
• www.yourcompanyname.fr for France
If you sell different products or services to different countries, or if you have a strong business presence in a country, use a Top Level Domain.
TLD's often represent a distinct business advantage in most cultures:
• Your company becomes a "local" company.
• Stronger cultural marketing
TLD websites are on different servers and require more website management. A TLD always has a stronger marketing appeal within your foreign market.
More International Web Marketing
The recent improvements in multilingual SEO will continue and lead to even stronger international web marketing.
Your choice on how you set up your different cultural content on your website is a marketing choice now more than ever.
Once you set up the right platform to organize your international communication, you can concentrate on your country specific marketing and get more international clients.
Cindy King is a cross-cultural copywriter and international sales specialist, with over 25 years field experience in international business development. She has a strong dual North American - European identity.
Cindy runs an international web marketing company, King Business Tools, based in France. She helps mid-sized companies expand internationally with cross-cultural web marketing solutions to close international lead cycles faster.
Get more free international business information on her Live Portfolio at: Get International Clients.
Today's News: I am really pleased to announce that my very good friend and fellow Top Sales Expert Leslie Buterin has just launched a brand new blog. As you would expect from one of the leading experts in the world when it comes to reaching top decision makers, it is packed with superb advice and tips - just click on the banner to have a look.
Tomorrow: Despite the fact that a very high percentage of my visitors will be celebrating, I will still be here
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